Purpose – The paper aims to introduce the Islamic “legal system of Shari'ah laws and ethics” and its process of resolving ethical quandaries as applied in the field of information ethics (IE). Design/methodology/approach – The paper first introduces some of the intricacy of the Islamic Shari'ah laws and ethics and then to reason its applicability in the field of IE, a scenario is discussed to illustrate how Islamic legal maxims maybe implemented to arrive at a moral judgment. Findings – The discussed scenario shows glimpses of the Shari'ah laws and reasoning processes of the Islamic ethical methodology for deriving moral judgment as used in the Muslim world to bring benefits and repel harms. The system respects both collective and individual's perspectives and can be conceived as being a synthesis between deontological, consequentialist and virtue ethics theories. Practical implications – The paper is sufficient to give the reader a feel for its potential to encourage further research in the area of resolving ethical issues, specifically for those who are calling for universal ethical theories to avoid moral imperialism. Originality/value – Ethical researchers have gone back in history as far as Aristotle and Descartes to address ethical issues arising from the development and application of information and computer technologies. One area of ethics rarely touched by ethical theorists is the religious laws and ethics of Islam. The paper introduces Islam and its sources of knowledge, which are the foundation for a large set of legal maxims used to govern ethical decisions.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 10, 2010
Keywords: Islam; Ethics; Communication technologies